Gemma is an Associate Director within the Commercial Bank at Lloyds Banking Group, currently supporting Mid Markets clients by developing new product propositions to meet their needs.
Gemma Guest
Gemma Guest
Lloyds Banking Group

Prior to this, Gemma spent 18 months as a Relationship Manager for a portfolio of Financial Institution clients and before that worked as Executive Support to the then CEO of Commercial Banking.

She has been nominated for the Rising Star Award.

Tell us about your day to day role

I recently started a new role in our Global Transaction Banking division where I work to develop new product solutions for clients in the Mid Markets sector. This role allows me to come up with new ideas to meet our clients’ needs, and also allows me to innovate to ensure we are developing cutting edge solutions for clients. I’m really enjoying the role so far as it is allowing me to draw on my creative side to support our clients. Before moving into this role, I managed a portfolio of clients within our Financial Institutions division.

Can you tell us more about the Women of the Future (WOF) Ambassadors programme and your involvement?

The Women of the Future Ambassadors programme is an amazing initiative which connects sixth form students with award winning women across a wide range of different industries, to provide them with role models and inspiration. I’ve been involved in the programme since Lloyds Banking Group became the headline sponsor in 2014, and have been delighted to see the reach of the programme grow from supporting 1,000 students a year to over 2,500 students a year! Alongside supporting the existing programme, I developed and led the WOF Workshops initiative, providing practical career skills to students. This means that we can pair the inspiration students feel from the WOF Ambassador programme, with a valuable skillset which will enable them to achieve the career goals they have been inspired to achieve.

How does it feel to be on the WIBF Awards for Achievement Shortlist?

I feel so privileged and honoured to have been shortlisted in the WIBF Awards for Achievements. When I started my career in banking almost four years ago I would never have thought I’d be shortlisted for an award in my whole career, let alone so early on. It’s been an amazing opportunity to meet so many other remarkable women in the industry as well. The nominees dinner we attended last month was a great event and enabled me to meet all of the other shortlisted candidates in the Rising Star category – they really are incredibly inspirational!

What is an essential quality of a successful manager?

I think empathy is one of the most important qualities of a good manager – allowing you to put yourself in somebody else’s position and truly understand where they are coming from when they are approaching a new task or situation. This allows the manager to get the most out of that individual and can help support the team in delivering their end goal in the most effective way. In addition to this, I think trust, passion and an inclusive mind-set are also key qualities of a great manager. I’ve been lucky enough to work with managers who display all of these qualities along with a real ambition to achieve results for the business, and they’ve made some remarkable achievements over the years.

What would you tell the 18 year old you knowing what you know now with regards to your career?

I think I would tell myself to stop worrying – as long as you work hard and stay true to yourself you can be successful in your career. When I first started work I was worried about conforming to the stereotype of what I thought people working in a certain industry were like and I never thought I’d be able to fit into that mould. However, I soon realised that it is far better to be yourself and stay true to your values than trying to be more like somebody else.

If you were stranded on an island, who would you chose to join you and why?

I know I should probably say some celebrity that I want to become best friends with or someone practical like Bear Grylls… However I’d probably bring my mum along because she genuinely seems to know the answer to everything and I know she’d be able to help us get out of any trouble we encountered. It helps that she’s also one of my favourite people and I know I wouldn’t get bored of her company.